Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s [NOOK Book]

Overview

Here is a pioneering account of everyday life under Stalin, written by one of our foremost authorities on modern Russian history.
Focusing on urban areas in the 1930s, Sheila Fitzpatrick shows that with the adoption of collectivization and the first Five-Year Plan, everyday life was utterly transformed. With the abolition of the market, shortages of food, clothing, and all kinds of consumer goods became endemic. As peasants fled the collectivized villages, major cities were ...
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Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s

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Overview

Here is a pioneering account of everyday life under Stalin, written by one of our foremost authorities on modern Russian history.
Focusing on urban areas in the 1930s, Sheila Fitzpatrick shows that with the adoption of collectivization and the first Five-Year Plan, everyday life was utterly transformed. With the abolition of the market, shortages of food, clothing, and all kinds of consumer goods became endemic. As peasants fled the collectivized villages, major cities were soon in the grip of an acute housing crisis, with families jammed for decades in tiny single rooms in communal apartments, counting living space in square meters. It was a world of privation, overcrowding, endless queues, and broken families, in which the regime's promises of future socialist abundance rang hollowly. We read of a government bureaucracy that often turned everyday life into a nightmare, and of the ways that ordinary citizens tried to circumvent it, primarily by patronage and the ubiquitous system of personal connections known as blat. And we read of the police surveillance that was endemic to this society, and the waves of terror like the Great Purges of 1937, that periodically cast this world into turmoil. Fitzpatrick illuminates the ways that Soviet city-dwellers coped with this world, examining such diverse activities as shopping, traveling, telling jokes, finding an apartment, getting an education, landing a job, cultivating patrons and connections, marrying and raising a family, writing complaints and denunciations, voting, and trying to steer clear of the secret police.
Based on extensive research in Soviet archives only recently opened to historians, this superb book illuminates the ways ordinary people tried to live normal lives under extraordinary circumstances.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Fitzpatrick makes subtle use of the press and of police reports that assist in giving us one of the most comprehensive accounts of what it meant to live in Stalin's Russia in the 1930s."--Kirkus Reviews

"A fine work--engrossing, well written, superbly documented, and much needed to boot....[The book's sources] make absolutely fascinating reading....An assiduous scholar, Professor Fitzpatrick seems to have scrutinized every relevant scrap of paper. Her explication is a model of balance and judiciousness....Individual memoirs apart, most histories of this period were written from the top--that is, showing how the policies were shaped and implemented, rather than how they were perceived and experienced by their subjects. It is the latter...that constitutes the major distinction of Fitzpatrick's book."--Abraham Brumberg, The Nation

[On STALIN'S PEASANTS:] "[This] monumental study of Russian peasants' responses to collectivization and its immediate aftermath reaffirms Fitzpatrick's status as the leading social historian of the early Soviet period and ensconces her firmly among the ranks of the leading scholars of peasant societies around the world. Painstakingly researched, Everyday Stalinism begins to fill an enormous gap in the historiography of collectivization in the Soviet Union....Peasant voices are finally heard in Fitzpatrick's thick descriptions....[This] book will stand as a solid pioneering effort and a must-read for scholars and students of Russia, the Soviet Union, and other peasant societies."--The Journal of Modern History

"The author's rich materials challenge readers to build their own model of Stalin's people, their complicity and resistance."--Wilson Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199839247
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/4/1999
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 296,664
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Sheila Fitzpatrick teaches modern Russian history at the University of Chicago. A former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, and a co-editor of The Journal of Modern History, she is also the author of The Russian Revolution, Stalin's Peasants, and many other books and articles about Russia. She lives in Chicago.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Police station

    Police station

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